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Is it okay to glorify the self? Or is that the sure road to perdition and pathway to hell?
I know it must be very, very bad form to admire one’s own quotes…but…
Somebody posted this last week in the Comments Section of this blog and I just love it. Seeing this quote in print, I’m so touched by it. It means a lot to me…
Here’s what someone posted yesterday…
Glorify who you are today, do not condemn who you were yesterday, and dream of who you can be tomorrow.
— Neale Donald Walsch
That really got me thinking. That is a wonderful, wonderful injunction; a marvelous invitation. I want that painted atop the doorway of every synagogue, temple, mosque, and church in America. And around the world. I want to see it in every high school textbook. I want to splash it on the side of every bus in every country on earth.
I wish someone had said that to me when I was 19. Or 29. Or 49. Or, heck, 59!
Why does it take us so long, do you think, to love ourselves? I mean, really and truly fall in love with ourselves, with who we are and how we have been and what we intend to do and the whole ball of wax…
My biggest struggle in life has been my internal one. I know, of course, of every “bad” thing I ever did, have ever done. I am aware of all of my missteps, all of my failings, all of my moments of hurtfulness toward others. And when I review these in my mind, I feel terrible.
I want to go back and get a “do over” card from the Universe. But we don’t get Do Over cards, we just get What Do You Want To Do Now cards. And we get memories; glimpses of the faces of those we have hurt–and how they looked when we hurt them.
Then I invite myself to consider if I can “glorify who I am today.” Only my decisions about past behaviors could put me in a position to be able to do that. I have to make firm decisions to learn from my mistakes and to not repeat them. I have to change my behaviors and truly reform my being, or, as CwG says, recreate myself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever I held about Who I Am.
I have to decide what that vision is. I have to see it clearly, and hold it firmly in my mind, especially when I am assailed with thoughts of Who I Was Before.
Yet even if I do this inner work, it still is a real challenge to “glorify who I am today.” Self-glorification is something we are warned against as a child. It is called the height of ego. So there is a delicate balancing act here, between holding the idea that I am a truly wonderful person, and being clear that I am no more wonderful than anyone else.
Finding this balance is not easy for a guy who was told constantly as a child to “be seen and not heard.” I have found myself either over-compensating by complimenting myself and talking about my accomplishments at every turn (What’s that old joke? “But enough about me. Let’s talk about how you feel about me.”), or I flip the coin completely over and become quiet, self-effacing, and actually diminutive…as if I wasn’t even there. I mean, I literally disappear myself from the conversation–mistaking absenteeism for humility.
The trick here, my higher mind tells me, is to glorify who I am today by becoming the kind of person who deserves glorification, and who receives it from others spontaneously and genuinely. Among other things, this would be the kind of person who glorifies others, and who does not worry for one second about his own “glorification.” (Here I love that quote from Ronald Reagan: “There’s no telling how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”)
My higher mind also tells me that glorifying the self is about actions, not words. We glorify our Selves when we act in a way we would act if we fully embraced our True Identity. We are, all of us, Love in Physical Form. When our actions reflect that, we glorify God. Then the only question remaining would be: Do we imagine God to exist only outside of us, or do we experience God existing in us, as us, and through us?
Which brings us to the third statement above: “Dream of who you can be tomorrow.” The key word here, my higher mind tells me, is “be.” It doesn’t say “Dream of what you can do tomorrow.” It says “Dream of who you can be.”
Can I be patient? Can I be kind? Can I be compassionate, caring, sensitive, forgiving, gentle, accepting? Can I be encouraging, supportive, uplifting, inspiring? Can I be truthful, genuine, authentic? Can I be open, available, accessible? Can I be non-defensive, non-attacking, non-separate from others in every way? Can I be…truly be… loving?
What this gets down to is, Can I adopt my True Identity? Can I embrace it, express it, experience it?
This is the central question of the New Spirituality. Moving to “yes” is its central invitation.